Artistry in the Goddard kitchen
With creative juices flowing unceasingly in melting pots, Executive Chef Daniel Schweizer is happiest in his industrial kitchen at the Sangster International Airport.
Montegonians were recently given the green light to enter Schweizer’s-run Goddard Catering kitchen, and they were super excited by all the flavours they were privy to savour. For the event, in honour of participants of the city’s annual MoBay City Run, Schweizer said his team invited about 20 different persons doing aspects of the presentation. The kitchen is really a flight kitchen, and most supplies airlines that use the Sangster International. Food aficionados all over the world will tell you that airline food is not as exciting. So for Schweizer, events such as the party in the kitchen allows him and his team to be quite creative.
Officially declaring their kitchen as the home of Epicurean, the Goddard team of cooks got down to palate-pleasing business, preparing smoked marlin, smoked salmon and ham, and pastrami. They presented sandwiches that were a hit with the guests. “We wanted to use this type of cooking into a sandwich, switching from sweet to savoury. “
The team used a Jamaican old-time Dutch pot to bake bread, instead of an oven. They shared that the dough is covered for 20 minutes on fire, and then another 30 minutes uncovered to get the right effect and look. “By then the bread is actually nicely brown, it is almost as if it was cooked on a coal stove. It was a reminder of old-time Jamaica,” Schweizer said of the real country-style bread, which he paired with smoked pumpkin soup.
On other hot stations, the executive chef and his team showed their prowess in the kitchen, delivering a quinoa risotto with jerked chicken that the party people who attended have etched in their memories.
“The thinking behind quinoa is modern and very popular for healthy lifestyle, we used risotto, (instead of rice), which infused old-fashioned European styled cooking to it,” explained Schweizer. The risotto, which is Italian, and jerk being the Jamaican staple, made a fabulous pair for those in attendance.
The ultimate sweetness of the occasion came with freshly prepared donuts garnished with capers, sun-dried tomatoes, Scotch bonnet glaze and sesame seeds. Operating at extremely high standards the Goddard team presented a very interesting and mouth-watering crème brule station, by using a torch to carmelise the popular dessert with sugar mixed with fresh mint. Accompanied with ginger pineapple chutney and also spicy fruit chutney, the Scotch bonnet gave it an extra kick.
Food for the soul was how one of the specially invited guests described the offering, when biting in the snapper fillet Caribbean, and dipping it into the curried coconut sauce, with sun-dried mashed potatoes. “We are trying to combine new flavours with old methods of cooking. A mashed potato is a mashed potato,” said Schweizer, adding that the creativity is where chefs have the opportunity to develop their culinary skills, while passing on what they know to those who are just coming into the profession.
Goddard Catering also has an arm tagged GCG Events Catering, and Schweizer says their team can basically cater anywhere in the country. “There are no limitations as to where we can drive to,” he said.
They were a big part of the Epicurean events at Grizzly in Richmond, St Ann, catered the 2007 World Cup Cricket, and still caters to cricket booths at matches. They also do several weddings and corporate events in Kingston for groups of up to 1,500 or more. “There is no limit to what we do,” boasted the executive chef.